How to Reassemble a Whiskey Barrel


Have you ever put together a 3-D puzzle with no instructions and no extra help? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to reassemble a whiskey barrel that you rescued from the top of the hayloft in a barn on the farm. I have been eyeing this old whiskey barrel for two years and finally decided it was time to pull it out and see if I could salvage it. I think you’re going to love this project as much as I do.

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How to Reassemble a Whiskey Barrel

Dig out the barrel from under three feet of old hay

I’ve been able to see the top of the whiskey barrel but I couldn’t see what shape it was in until I started raking out the old hay. With a careful eye out for random critters, I was able to finally see the whiskey barrel.

Watch as the barrel completely falls apart

I pulled out the barrel and started to get really excited about this amazing find and immediately the barrel collapsed in front of me.

Research how to reassemble a whiskey barrel

I then did what I always do when I want to learn something new – I went to YouTube. Unfortunately, there were not very many videos of amateurs reassembling barrels but I did learn a few basic tips from the professional coopers.

How to Reassemble a Whiskey Barrel

Using the largest metal strap as a container, stack all the wooden slats against your body.

Begin closest to you and start making a smooth wall of wooden slats as you go around the barrel.

Get ready to celebrate that you completed the barrel, just in time for it to collapse.

Repeat this process at least three times.

There are no nails or screws in this barrel. The barrel is held together by how tight the slats fit inside the metal strap.

When I finished my barrel and it was standing completely stable on its own, I looked down and realized I had accidentally used the smaller metal strap so my barrel was smaller than the original. I decided that I love the way it looks just like it is and now I have four extra slats to use for a future project.

  • Is the barrel perfect? Not at all.
  • Is it ready to sell at a craft show? Definitely not.
  • Do I love it? Yes!

My parents gave me some beautiful fall mums and I wanted to use the whiskey barrel as a plant stand so I filled the finished barrel with old hay from the barn to give it a little more weight.

Would you redo the barrel and get it done exactly right or would you leave it as? Have you ever reassembled a whiskey barrel? Do you have any tips for my next project? I’d love to hear!

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